SCIENCES

Butchering Chickens: A Guide to Humane, Small-Scale Processing

Storey. Mar. 2020. 176p. ISBN 9781635861655. pap. $18.95.
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With some estimates as high as eight percent of U.S. households owning chickens, and an increasing emphasis on local food sourcing, this handy volume fills a burgeoning need for the chicken-farming community. For many enthusiasts predominantly focused on egg production, the task of butchering backyard fowl can be formidable and intimidating. The process requires a thorough appreciation of sanitary standards and a variety of specialized equipment. From tub pluckers and killing cones to chain-mail aprons and sausage stuffers, there’s a lot to explain. Through it all, Danforth provides expert instruction in detailed steps complete with photographic support, a bibliography, glossary, index, and metric conversion chart. This guide thoughtfully balances ensuring food safety, providing a humane approach for the animals, and maximizing results for yield and flavor. Whether culling, cleaning, scalding, cutting, gutting, butchering, rendering, spatchcocking, or storing, every step is carefully explained in a way that’s helpful and straightforward. This is an outstanding resource for hobbyists interested in processing their own meat.
VERDICT A daunting endeavor demystified, everything from denuding tenders to dry-aging drumsticks explained in detail.

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